Emails went out today to various Barclays / Barclaycard credit card holders announcing negative changes to many credit card benefits. This news comes on the heels of Citi making drastic cuts to card benefits even on its ultra-premium Prestige card and it continues on a general path away from some of these ancillary credit card benefits for most issuers.
Benefits being slashed
As of November 1, 2019, Barclays announced the following changes:
- Extended Warranty: Eliminated
- Price protection: Eliminated
- Return protection: Eliminated
- Trip delay benefits: Eliminated
In addition to the termination of those benefits (each of which were only available on select cards), Barclays announced a couple of enhancements.
- Identity theft benefits: This looks like some sort of monitoring service where they “scour the Dark Web” for your compromised personal info. I’m about to give you a status match on this benefit courtesy of FM, no credit card required: There’s a 90% chance your identity has been compromised. I didn’t even need to scour the Dark Web to tell you that. So takes some steps and lock up your digital kingdom, would ya?
- Roadside Dispatch: They are adding a benefit where you can call them so they can call a tow truck and you can pay the bill. Yet another status match from FM: Google can do that for ya, too. In one phone call, not two.
- Auto Rental CDW Coverage: It sounds like some cards will be picking up Collision Damage Waiver coverage. Word on the street is that it’ll be the Arrival+, AA cards, JetBlue cards, and Uber Visa, but there was no detail about the benefit in the emails. Call me a cynic, but I’d bet on this being secondary coverage where your personal insurance pays first, but I’d live to see Primary CDW added to more cards.
- Cell phone insurance: I think this is a smart benefit for issuers to offer. If your cell carrier can offer it profitably for a few bucks a month, it must not really cost them all that much, yet it’s valuable enough to get someone to use a specific credit card to pay the bill. All that said, I’d recommend using a card that earns a category bonus on paying the cell phone bill, and most of the Barclays offerings don’t.
I’m sad to see these benefits continue to be cut. Benefits like price protection and extended warranty are great value-adds for conscious consumers that can help mitigate the annual fee on a credit card and increase the value of holding a particular card long-term. I don’t know whether enough consumers are becoming educated about these benefits to make them too expensive to offer or whether there is some major overhaul coming that will re-introduce these benefits in a way that makes them sustainable offerings, but I hope for the latter (it’s a faint and still fading hope at this point).